by Charles Goyette: We
Marched Right In
is an excerpt from New York Times bestselling author Charles
Goyette's new book Red
and Blue and Broke All Over: Restoring America's Free Economy.
Republicans and Democrats of modern America – the red and blue faces
of the state – have led us all down their yellow brick road of the
welfare and warfare state. And now the curtain has been pulled back
on the Great and Powerful Oz of Washington and its work of cheap
flim-flammery has been revealed for all to see.
roar of its might depended on the wealth it stripped from the people.
Now it has no wealth left, only debt to burden the people with in
their reduced circumstances. It promised to provide for the poor,
but instead left the entire nation poorer. It promised to provide
for the elderly in their retirement. But the only resources the
Great and Powerful Oz had were the ones it took from them to begin
with, and in so doing it altered the people’s behavior so that they
failed to provide for their own old age. It promised to provide
for the general security. Instead it destroyed the people’s financial
security while it went abroad, propping up tyrants and meddling
in affairs hither and yon. The security of the Great and Powerful
Oz consists not of peace and tranquility, but in maintaining a perpetual
state of alarm and making the people hated in far corners of the
in a foolhardy finale, it sought to solve the problem of insurmountable
debt by piling on still more debt. Now the state must stop. Let
the final curtain close on the humbuggery of the red party and the
bunkum of the blue.
A change in
the way people think about the state is inevitable, just as it was
inevitable that tribal chieftains, the divine right of kings, the
mandate of heaven, and the rule of churches should yield to the
spread of freedom. It stands to reason that the hollowness of the
state’s promises should thrust this reconsideration on this generation
at this time.
the generation is not equal to the demands of the age; perhaps we
expect too much of a dependent, conditioned, and passive people.
But if the people do miss the opportunity our economic distress
provides to reassess the state, the opportunity of distress will
be seized instead by those responsible for the calamity. They will
use it to extend their authority and, yes, to increase the damage.
As I described in The Dollar Meltdown, a command economy
is an irresistible attraction to the power-seeking governing classes
during economic distress. The hand of the state becomes a fist.
continue to succumb to the ways of statism as modeled by the bloody
Or will they
recall the lessons of our own revolution and seek again to secure
the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity?
should be clear that the decision before us is not the one presented
by the major media outlets with their breathless coverage of the
election horse races. It is not the one offered by the opinion-makers
with their constrained vision and tired habits of thought. It is
not the choice between Republicans and Democrats that matters. It
is the choice between statism and liberty.
sound-bite commentariat would have us choose whether the red team
or the blue team should manage our lives. But America is not a sporting
event, and we can manage our own lives. The future we are choosing
is between want and abundance. The great achievements of mankind
come not from slave labor, but from the self-motivated. Except
for cigars from Cuba and vodka from the Soviet Union (if even that!),
nobody anywhere with a choice is ever very interested in things
made by unfree people living in command economies.
oxygen of freedom creativity shuts down, inventiveness suffocates.
When prodded like cattle, people move and act not as inspired, but
as directed. All the spontaneity that organizes new forms of production,
all the unexpected ways in which human life is improved, and the
serendipity that delights us with enriching new experiences and
opportunities – all flourish in an environment of freedom.
know this face the task of persuading their fellows of both the
self-evident moral preferability and the productive superiority
of voluntary and contractual social relationships to coercive ones.
we have taken for granted in our material circumstances and the
increase of ease in our lives – so many of the things we notice
only in their absence – are the result of a free economy. So rich
are its gifts, so abundant its bounty, so profuse its variety, that
we have come to think of prosperity as a given. And that is a good
way to think of it – as a given. Like the cornucopia, the horn of
plenty that is an icon of inexhaustible abundance that seemingly
springs from nowhere, prosperity is a given, coming into being in
the presence of free people in a free economy.
are many. This book has focused especially on Prosperity because
she appears to be slipping away from us. But Prosperity is only
one of Liberty’s daughters. Peace is another. And third among her
daughters is Opportunity. What a plague mankind suffers in the absence
of Liberty’s gifts. What a cruel smothering of the human spirit
to know only lack and insufficiency instead of the abundance of
Prosperity; to live in a time of constant strife and war, a time
without the blessings of Peace; and to experience a lifetime of
frustrating limitation and futility, a world without Opportunity.
A renewed appreciation
of Liberty will mean the growth of prosperity, peace, and opportunity.
Her blessings await all who wish them.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
Best of Charles Goyette